CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- EdX, the not-for-profit online learning initiative composed of the leading global institutions of the xConsortium, today announced another doubling of its university membership with the addition of its first Asian institutions and further expansion in the Ivy League. The xConsortium is gaining 15 prestigious higher education institutions, bringing its total to 27, including Tsinghua University and Peking University in China, The University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology in Hong Kong, Kyoto University in Japan, and Seoul National University in South Korea, and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The expansion reflects edX's rapidly growing global student body and supports its vision of transforming education by bringing the power of learning to all regardless of location or social status.
EdX also welcomes nine universities from North America, Europe and Australia. In the United States, in addition to Cornell, the Consortium has added Berklee College of Music, Boston University, Davidson College, and University of Washington. From Europe, edX welcomes Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, Belgium's Universite catholique de Louvain, and Germany's Technical University of Munich. The University of Queensland in Australia becomes the second Australian university to join the xConsortium.
"As we continue to grow the xConsortium and offer courses from institutions as diverse as our global community of students, we are moving forward with our mission to reimagine education," said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. "These schools, with their unique faculties and student bodies, will help us conduct collaborative research on best practices which improve education online and on campus."
While MOOCs, or massive open online courses, have typically focused on offering free online courses, edX's vision is much larger. EdX is building an open source educational platform and a network of the world's top universities to improve education both online and on campus while conducting research on how students learn. To date, edX has more than 900,000 individuals on its platform. The addition of these new higher education institutions will add a rich variety of new courses to edX's offerings:
- The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (HKUx), the territory's oldest institute of higher learning and an internationally renowned research-led comprehensive university, will provide a series of HKUx courses including Vernacular Heritage in Asia, Chinese and Western Philosophy, Infectious Disease and Public Health, and Law, Economy and Society.
- Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong (HKUSTx) is a world-class international research university excelling in science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. The University is committed to providing an interdisciplinary, forward-looking education nurturing well-rounded graduates with a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
- Kyoto University, Japan (KyotoUx) is a world-class research university founded in 1897 as the second oldest national university in Japan. Kyoto University has advanced education and research of the highest standards, cultivating its tradition of open-minded dialogue and a philosophy of academic freedom. It currently consists of 18 graduate schools, 10 undergraduate faculties, and more than 30 research institutes and centers.
- Peking University, Beijing, China (PekingX), founded in 1898, is the first national comprehensive university in China. With a full spectrum of disciplines and over 3,000 faculty members, Peking University is devoted to excellence in teaching and research, and is determined to make education openly accessible to everyone in China and the world.
- Seoul National University, South Korea (SNUx), Korea's first national university and the indisputable leader of higher education in Korea, wants to share creative knowledge and experiences. SNU has produced fruitful achievements in various fields, ranging from business, politics, natural science, technology, and the arts. SNU will provide a series of SNUx courses on diverse topics.
- Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (TsinghuaX), one of most prestigious higher learning institutions in Asia, is dedicated to excellent education in science, engineering, humanities, social sciences, architecture, management, law, medicine, arts and design. Tsinghua will provide TsinghuaX courses in a variety of areas of study.
- The University of Queensland in Australia (UQx) is one of the world's premier teaching and research institutions with more than 45,000 students and 7,500 staff. UQ's teaching is informed by research, and spans six faculties and eight research institutes. UQ will provide a series of UQx courses including Tropical Coastal Ecosystems by Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and The Science of Everyday Thinking by Dr. Jason Tangen.
- Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (KIx) is one of the world´s leading medical universities with a mission to contribute to the improvement of human health through research and education. Since 1901, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.
- Universite catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (LouvainX) one of Europe's oldest universities, located in the heart of Europe, will provide LouvainX courses in both French and English, including a course on political science (in French) led by Nathalie Schiffino, and a course on international human rights by Olivier De Schutter, the special rapporteur to the United Nations on the right to food.
- Technische Universitat Munchen, Germany (TUMx) is one of Europe's leading universities committed to finding solutions to the major challenges facing society: health and nutrition, energy and natural resources, environment and climate, information and communication, mobility and infrastructure.
United States -
- Berklee College of Music, Boston (BerkleeX), for over 65 years, has evolved to support its belief that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through contemporary music education. With a diverse student body representing over 130 countries and a music industry "who's who" of alumni and faculty that have received 229 Grammy Awards, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today – and tomorrow.
- Boston University, Boston (BUx) is the fourth largest private university in the United States, with a global footprint and a leading study abroad program, offering 250 programs of study in science and engineering, social science and humanities, health science, the arts, and other professional disciplines.
- Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. (CornellX), a world renowned and diverse Ivy League institution dedicated to a mission of teaching, research and public engagement, will provide a series of CornellX courses in areas ranging from engineering and the sciences to the humanities.
- Davidson College, Davidson, N.C. (DavidsonX) has a renowned faculty and innovative transdisciplinary programs that have earned the college distinction as one of the most research-active liberal arts institutions in the country, as well as consistent national recognition for overall quality and faculty-student research collaboration. Over the next few years, Davidson will offer several original DavidsonX courses in a range of topic areas.
- University of Washington, Seattle (UWashingtonX) is ranked number one among public universities nationally that receive federal research and training funds, and since 1975 has been in the top five for public and private universities. The UW is a leader in online learning with 15 online degrees and 40 online certificates, and recently won a prestigious Educause grant for a new undergraduate online degree completion program in Early Childhood and Family Studies.
In addition to adding these institutions, edX recently launched more than 20 new courses ranging from HarvardX's Science & Cooking to UTAustinX's The Ideas of the 20th Century to DelftX's Solar Energy to GeorgetownX's Introduction to Bioethics to BerkeleyX's Introduction to Statistics: Inference to MITx's Mechanics ReView to WellesleyX's Introduction to Human Evolution. These and other online and blended courses offered by xConsortium institutions are designed to take advantage of the unique features and benefits of online learning environments, including active learning, game-like experiences, instant feedback and cutting-edge virtual laboratories.
The new member institutions will join founding universities MIT and Harvard, as well as the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas System, Wellesley College, Georgetown University, McGill University, Australian National University, University of Toronto, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Delft University of Technology and Rice University in the xConsortium. The new X University Consortium members will offer courses on edX beginning in late 2013 or 2014. All of the courses will be hosted on edX's open source platform at www.edx.org.
EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise composed of 20+ leading global institutions, the xConsortium. Founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, edX is focused on transforming online and on-campus learning through groundbreaking methodologies, game-like experiences and cutting-edge research on an open source platform. EdX provides inspirational and transformative knowledge to students of all ages, social status, and income who form worldwide communities of learners. EdX is focused on people, not profit, and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the USA.